Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum Celebrates the History of Needmore Community
Date(s) - 04/10/2013
Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum
The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum will present a program celebrating the historic Needmore Community at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the museum. The program will feature the rich history of Needmore which occupied the area from Vine to Jarnigan Streets including portions of Gillespie and Russell.
Various community leaders will talk about the history of the area and a pictorial history and scrapbooks will be available for viewing. Citizens are urged to bring any materials related to Needmore for inclusion in the scrapbook. MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library personnel will be present to scan materials free of charge so originals can be returned to owners. The event is free, and anyone with stories or memories are invited to come and share.
“Our purpose is to recognize and celebrate the many significant contributions from persons of African descent who lived and operated businesses in the area,” said Betsy Longest, chairman of the museum board of trustees. “The program will highlight the impact Needmore has had on a local economy and make sure the contributions of its citizens are never forgotten.”
Starkville resident and program committee member Charles “La La” Evans was raised in and continues to live in the district. Longest said he has been instrumental in working with the Greater Starkville Development Partnership to have an historic marker on Needmore’s past erected near the Community Center on Gillespie Street. A special dedication ceremony for the marker will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m.
Another member of the planning committee is Ruth Morgan who has become well-known for her research on the history of Starkville and Oktibbeha County. She has come to know many of the people who lived in Needmore and in her position as a trustee of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum as well as vice president of the Oktibbeha County Historical Society.
According to Morgan’s research, United States Attorney General Wiley N. Nash studied Needmore while applying for a Union depot around 1913. At that time the community was a suburb of Starkville, since it was outside the city limits. He described the people in the area as “quiet, peaceable and law abiding, and generally speaking trying to ‘do right’ which became the name of the area’s first church.
Nash said the population of Needmore was approximately 160 during that period.
Morgan and Evans said they hope the entire community will come out on Wednesday to hear and share more about the fascinating history of Needmore. The program is a part of the museum’s popular “Our Community” series which explores the history of the various communities and settlements which comprise Oktibbeha County.
For more information, call the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum at 662-323-0211.